‘If you’re coming up second best’: Lee Trevino has fast solutions to 2 trouble shots

Lee Trevino

Lee Trevino at the 2022 PNC Championship.

Getty Images

Lee Trevino stands with his golf ball below him. Later, it’s above him. 

But neither trouble shot matters to him. Not at all. 

“Doesn’t make any difference how these architects build these courses,” he said. 

“You can handle any of ’em.”

Trevino was speaking in a video recently posted on the Golf Teachers App Instagram page, and he was in his element. The one-of-a-kind talker was turning phrases. And the legendary ball striker and six-time major winner was teaching, and the lesson here involved shots where the ball is below your feet, and where the ball is above your feet.  

His solutions to both were fast. Here, you should watch the video, and it’s below. Below that are some notes. 

On shots where the ball is below your feet, Trevino said players often put too much weight forward, with their heels off the ground, and the swing will topple them over. For pure contact, he said this:

— “What you have to do is play the ball back in your stance.”

— “And sit down on it. Get down low. When you do that, all the weight gets on your heels. Keep that right foot down all the way through the shot.”

On shots where the ball is above your feet, Trevino advised this:

— “You want to put the ball back in the middle of your stance.”

— “Make sure that the weight doesn’t get back on your heels. Keep that weight up on your toes. As a matter of fact, keep that right heel up off the ground all the way through the shot. This will keep you up over the ball.”

From there, after his lesson, he offered his line on architects. 

Editor’s note: GOLF.com has shared numerous stories on Trevino, and you can find that collection here. One of the author’s favorites, should you be interested, can be found here, and it can also be found if you scroll below. 


What do you ask golf legend Lee Trevino, who doubles as potentially the best ball striker of all time, when the opportunity presents itself? With a seemingly infinite amount of golf wisdom at his disposal, I decided to keep it simple:

“What’s some advice for golfers who struggle to hit the ball solidly?”

lee trevino
Why your ball position is hurting your golf swing, according to Lee Trevino
By: Luke Kerr-Dineen

For a moment, I was worried the question was too broad, but the Merry Mex, speaking at the 2021 Berenberg Invitational, didn’t miss a beat.

“Your arms are only so long,” he says. “You have to understand that your arms are like the limbs attached to the trunk of a tree. My body is the trunk, and my arms are the limbs. They swing back and forth.”

The analogy is a useful one because it describes something lots of pros think about: The “radius” of their golf swing. Your arms are going to straighten as you swing, Trevino says, which means you need to monitor the literal space between yourself and the golf ball you’re trying to hit.

And in that regard, there’s nothing more important than your ball position.

Trevino says your ball position is (probably) too far forward 

Let’s go back to Lee’s tree limb analogy. Your arms — the limbs — swing back and forth around the trunk of the tree. As your arms do this, there’s a point where they begin moving up and around your body, away from the golf ball. This is why, Trevino says, a common mistake occurs when golfers play the ball too far forward in their stance: Their arms begin coming up, which brings the club with them, which results in thin shots, whiffs and other mis-hits.

“They’re coming up before they’re hitting the golf ball,” Trevino says. “The ball is going low, it’s going left, and you’re catching the ball thin.”

It’s why Trevino tells golfers to play the ball more back in their stance than they think. It’ll help them make a compressed strike on the golf ball and send the ball straighter.

You can watch Trevino in his own words below.

Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski

Golf.com Editor

Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at Golf.com and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories across the golf space. And when he’s not writing about ways to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native is probably playing the game, hitting the ball left, right and short, and drinking a cold beer to wash away his score. You can reach out to him about any of these topics — his stories, his game or his beers — at nick.piastowski@golf.com.